Raul Freitas

Wild west


Like any large city, Toronto has become a place where stabbings, shootings, and pursuits have become a daily occurrence. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not Baltimore or Chicago, but I remember well when these kinds of things were unusual. These problems arise from the usual social distortions that have plagued mankind since the dawn of money and power. Being in a position of power is not a simple matter. Not only do you have to battle your own demons, but also those who knock at your door.

History is riddled with stories of good leaders and selfish, or even wicked leaders. Today, nothing has changed, there are obvious examples of both, mostly the latter, in my opinion, and that is certainly due to the fact that they can reach and influence a much larger audience who’s only too eager to hear what they want to hear.

Policing is a position of power, and like any other person placed in such a situation, it depends on how that individual sees his or her role. It may all even start positively, but time has a tendency to change people, and not always for the better. “To serve and protect”, the phrase that Toronto police designate as their motto, is probably the best way to describe their role in the community, but I’m pretty sure most people don’t see them in that light any longer. I’m not going to argue the “few bad apples” scenario, because I don’t think that positions of power can afford to have any rotting fruit within its ranks. We are human, but unworthy humans must be turfed, not protected. That is one of the main problems within such communities. They’ll protect each other no matter what, as if it’s about them and not the people they serve. Today, police tend to intimidate, above all else. Of course that has been an integral part of their mantra, but today it seems to be more of a focus. Is it just me, or do they all dress like the science fiction movies from the last few decades? You see cops on the news today and they look like the American troops doing maneuvers in the Middle East. How can anybody not be intimidated by that? Even the vehicles look like they’re ready for combat. That makes people nervous. To serve and protect? Whom? People today can’t even demonstrate peacefully without having what amounts to the armed forces coming down on them from all sides.

I was taught that people in a position of power should be examples to their communities, people you could respect and even look up to. No way that happens these days. I admire and respect those in these positions that still see their role as it should be. They are probably the only ones who can affect real change in their respective environments, but with all the disrespect and corruption we see around us daily, it’s prudent to be skeptical. When you can’t trust some, how can you trust any?
Fiquem bem,

Raul Freitas/MS


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